A ‘lion’ was seen wandering the countryside reported to police

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There have been reports over the years of big cats such as cougars, lynx and even caracals roaming the British countryside. Yet a most unusual report was made to police of a lion being seen by a member of the public.

The sighting is believed to have occurred in November 2021 and police have been advised the sighting occurred between Barnstaple and Tiverton in Devon.

Police attended the scene of the report and checked with local wildlife parks, but no lions were reported missing. he saw a lion about 20-30 minutes ago. I spoke to Exmoor Zoo and it’s not from there. All of the big cats at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park were considered.”

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Frank Tunbridge, 74 from Podsmead has studied wildlife for over 60 years and has a keen interest and knowledge of animals that are not native to the UK. He thinks the animal that was seen might have been mistaken for another type of big cat.

He said: “There have been a few reports of lions wandering the English countryside in the past, but in both cases it was assumed to be a misidentification. One as a large Maine Coon house cat and the other as a very large English Mastiff who was often walked in the same area.

“Nevertheless, a cougar, or cougar as they are also called, could look a lot like a lioness due to the same color and swaggering gait. There have been reports of cougars and other big cats from of Devon and Somerset near where the lion was last seen.

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“So unless it had the full mane of a male lion, it was probably a cougar or hybrid cougar that the witness observed.”

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